Senior Caregivers Offer Pneumonia Risk Reduction Tips For Your Loved One in Vancouver, WA
Comfort Keepers' senior caregivers are here to help your love one stay healthy during the cold season
Pneumonia, an infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, affects circulation in one or both air sacs and decreases the capacity of oxygen in the blood. The pneumonic inflammation may range from mild to severe and it can even become life-threatening. Sadly, seniors are more susceptible to contracting the condition than younger, healthier adults. Likewise, once aging adults develop pneumonia, it takes much longer for them to recover.
As a senior caregiver, it is important that you learn how to reduce pneumonia risks in your loved one. Here’s what you can do:
- Remind your loved one to wash their hands frequently. Pneumonia can spread through touch from all the germs and microbes in our surroundings. Clean hands help combat the risk of illness, so make sure your loved one washes their hands several times a day. They can also opt for using a hand sanitizer while outdoors. In addition, you can post reminders in your loved one’s home near the bathroom and sink areas.
- Help your loved one maintain proper good oral hygiene. As pneumonia can develop from tooth and gum infections, brushing, flossing, and/or cleaning dentures on a daily basis is an absolute must. Using germ-killing, quality mouthwash is also a good idea.
- Immunizations are key to minimizing the risk of pneumonia. Your loved one’s doctor may recommend a one-time vaccine against bacterial pneumococcal pneumonia, which can either reduce the risk of pneumonia or help minimize the severity of the infection. There is also a booster vaccine that can be administered five years after the initial one. Consider vaccinating Mom or Dad against other illnesses which can progress into pneumonia, influenza in particular.
- As a senior caregiver, encourage your loved one to quit smoking. Besides being completely detrimental to one’s overall health, smoking also amplifies the risk of pneumonia by a multifold. If your loved one is able to kick their detrimental habit, they will not only lead a healthier lifestyle but they can also be fit to fend themselves from a number of illnesses, including pneumonia.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Unfortunately, the older the person is, the higher the chance of contracting pneumonia. Oddly enough, older adults complain of fewer symptoms that healthier individuals. For this reason, it’s very important that every senior caregiver pays attention to the following symptoms:
- Severe chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chills that can sometimes be accompanied by fever
- Confusion that tends to worsen with time
- Sudden fatigue
Take your loved one to see their doctor the minute you notice any of these symptoms.
Comfort Keepers can help. A trained senior caregiver can assist Mom or Dad with a number of daily activities, engage them in meaningful conversation, and make sure they lead a happy, healthy, and safe life at home for longer.